a special feature by Marla Tomazin, NY Stylist & Certified Image Consultant*

With more and more warm days in the forecast, most of us are excited to say goodbye to winter layers for the next six months. But between cold fronts, rainy days, and brisk breezes, it’s still a bit too early to leave the house in only a sundress and sandals. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the winter-to-spring wardrobe transition in comfort and style:

Start with a strategic seasonal switch. If you keep your warm-weather clothes in another closet, pull out cotton pants, blouses, and light sweaters so that you can begin to work them into your rotation. Meanwhile, switch out the heaviest fabrics—such as tweed pants or skirts and thick cashmere sweaters—to make room. (Remember, if you can’t easily see a great spring piece, you won’t wear it!) As the weather begins to warm up, you can continue to switch out a handful of items each day or week.

Seek out fabrics that will help you transition between temperatures. When it comes to keeping you comfortable in spring’s wide range of temperatures, not all fabrics are created equal. Aim for materials that aren’t paper-thin, but are still breathable. I keep my lightweight wools in my closet 10 months of the year and have even worn these pants in the summer on cooler days. Also, keep your eyes open for several other hardworking fabrics in addition to the standard cotton and wool: viscose, Lyocell, and polyamide with elastane. These blends wear well and are suitable for both warm and cool days.

Spring into Style #2Make sure you’re ready for the elements. Spring is known for its mercurial temperature changes. And who doesn’t know what it’s like to be caught in a sudden, unexpected rain shower? Leave the house prepared for Mother Nature’s fickleness with a leather jacket or tailored raincoat (personally, I’m a big fan of belted trench coats). Both of these options are stylish, but won’t feel too bulky if you need to take them off and fold them over your arm. And don’t forget a colorful lightweight scarf, which can fill multiple roles as an eye-catching accessory, a wrap to drape around your shoulders, or even a barrier between your hair and the rain.

Enjoy the season on foot. Sick of your winter boots but not quite ready to venture out in strappy sandals? Plan to enjoy the warmer(ish) weather in a “dress flat.” I recommend low heels by Diane B. to many of my professional clients because they’re comfortable to walk in and still look great with pants, skirts, and dresses. These shoes are made in Italy, and around 15 varieties are offered each season. If you’re going for a more casual look, ballet flats are always classic.

Pre-plan some layered looks. Especially when the weather is unpredictable, putting prior thought into what you want to wear is time well-spent. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to rush out the door overdressed (or underdressed) for what you’ll find outside. When I’m working with clients, I recommend that they take an hour and put together several layered looks that can be adapted on the fly. This could be a favorite lightweight wool blazer in navy to be worn over colorful jeans in coral, red, or even white. A cream t-shirt top or white blouse and scarf complete the ensemble. Once you’ve created a look you love, take a picture of it so that you can easily assemble it later when you’re in a hurry.

About Marla Tomazin:

Marla Tomazin, NY Stylist &  Certified Image Consultant, established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Her clients include women, men, and corporations seeking external revitalization that mirrors their internal development. Please visit www.marlatomazin.com.